Fionnuala McCormack

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Fionnuala McCormack
Fionnuala Britton Velenje 2011.jpg
McCormack at the 2011 European Cross Country Championships in Velenje, Slovenia
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  Ireland
European Indoor Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2013 Gothenburg 3000 m
European Cross Country Championships
Gold medal – first place 2011 Velenje Individual
Gold medal – first place 2012 Budapest Individual
Gold medal – first place 2012 Budapest Team
Bronze medal – third place 2014 Samokov Team
Bronze medal – third place 2015 Hyères Team

Fionnuala McCormack (née Britton; born 24 September 1984 in Wicklow) is an Irish runner who specializes in the 3000 metres steeplechase. She was the gold medallist at the 2011 and 2012 European Cross Country Championships. She has represented Ireland in the steeplechase at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics, the 2007 World Championships in Athletics and 2011 World Championships in Athletics, and twice at the European Athletics Championships. In December 2012, Britton became the first woman to successfully defend the European Cross Country Championship.


She began her international junior career in cross country running in 2001, highlighted by 33rd place at the 2003 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. She won a steeplechase silver at the 2006 European Cup and also competed in the event at the European Athletics Championships, being eliminated in the heats.[1] She took the under-23 silver medal at the 2006 European Cross Country Championships at the end of the year. She was fourteenth in the senior race at the 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championships – the second best European performer behind Jessica Augusto (12th).[2] She made her global track debut at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics and was twelfth in the steeplechase final.[1] She ended the year with a seventh-place finish at the 2007 European Cross Country Championships.

She made her Olympic debut at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, but did not make the women's steeplechase final. She came eleventh at the 2009 European Cross Country Championships which was held in her home city of Dublin. Britton was also eleventh in the steeplechase final at the 2010 European Athletics Championships.[1] She just missed out on a medal at the 2010 European Cross Country Championships, finishing with the same time as bronze medallist Ana Dulce Félix. She took second place at the Lotto Cross Cup Brussels a week later.[3]

In preparation for the world competition, she ran at the Almond Blossom Cross Country in March 2011 and took second place.[4] She managed 16th place at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbría. She ran a personal best of 15:31.26 minutes for the 5000 metres at the FBK Games in June then ran a steeplechase best of 9:37.60 minutes at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York. Britton represented Ireland on the track at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, narrowly being eliminated in the first stage of the steeplechase.[5] In November she came third at the high-level Cross de l'Acier cross country race.[6] In December 2011, she won the gold medal at the 2011 European Cross Country Championships.[7][8]

She began 2012 with wins at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country and Antrim Cross Country.[9] She expressed her disappointment that the World Cross Country would not be held that year, and stated that she would focus on track running that year instead.[10] In December of that year she became the first woman to defend the continental cross title[11] claiming victory at the 2012 European Cross Country Championships.

In January 2013, Britton retained her Great Edinburgh Cross Country[12] and Antrim Cross Country titles.[13]

On 3 March 2013, she won a bronze medal in the 3000 metres final at the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg.[14][15] She placed 13th at the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, being Europe's top performer in the race and one of only two non-Africans in the top 15 (alongside Neely Spence).[16] She competed mainly in European competitions in the following two seasons, coming fourth at the 2013 European Cross Country Championships, ranking eighth in the 10,000 m at the 2014 European Athletics Championships, then ending in sixth at the 2014 European Cross Country Championships (and taking a team bronze).

She married in 2015 and began competing as Fionnuala McCormack.[17] Her first success under her married name was a team bronze at the 2015 European Cross Country Championships, where she narrowly missed an individual medal in fourth place behind Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal.[18]

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Ireland
2005 European U23 Championships Erfurt, Germany 9th 3000 m st. 10:17.58
Universiade İzmir, Turkey 11th 3000 m st. 10:28.37
2006 European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 17th (h) 3000 m st. 9:49.20
European Cross Country Championships San Giorgio su Legnano, Italy 2nd Under-23 race (5.975km) 18:56
2007 World Cross Country Championships Mombasa, Kenya 14th Senior race (8km) 28:45
World Championships Osaka, Japan 12th 3000 m st. 9:48.09
2008 World University Cross Country Championships Haute NormandieRouen, France 2nd Under-23 22:39
Olympic Games Beijing, China heats 3000 m st. 9:43.57
2009 Universiade Belgrade, Serbia 6th 3000 m st. 9:54.10
2010 European Championships Barcelona, Spain 11th 3000 m st. 9:44.25
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea heats 3000 m st. 9:41.17
European Cross Country Championships Velenje, Slovenia 1st Senior race (8.170km) 25:55
2012 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 4th 10000 m 32:05.54
Olympic Games London, England 15th 10,000 m 31:47.72
Olympic Games London, England heats 5000 m 15:12.57
European Cross Country Championships Budapest, Hungary 1st Senior race (8.050km) 27:45
2013 European Indoor Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 3rd 3000m 9:00.54
World Cross Country Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland 14th Senior Race (8km) 25:08
European Cross Country Championships Belgrade, Serbia 4th Senior race (8.050km) 26:45
2014 European Championships Zurich, Switzerland 10th Marathon 2:31:46
2015 European Cross Country Championships Hyères, France 4th Senior race 26:00
3rd Team race 83 pts
2016 European Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 4th 10,000 m 31:30.74
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 20th Marathon 2:31:22

Personal bests[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Britton, Fionnuala. IAAF. Retrieved on 19 December 2010.
  2. ^ 2007 World XC Championships – Women's Senior Race Results. IAAF. Retrieved on 19 December 2010.
  3. ^ Hendrix, Ivo (20 December 2009). Lalli and Herzog triumph in wintry Brussels. IAAF. Retrieved on 8 February 2010.
  4. ^ Fernandes, António Manuel (6 March 2011). Kalovics and Menjo cruise to victories in Albufeira. IAAF. Retrieved on 6 March 2011.
  5. ^ Britton Fionnuala. IAAF. Retrieved on 1 December 2011.
  6. ^ Delporte, David (28 November 2011). Joseph Ebuya n'a jamais laissé planer le doute (in French). La Voix de Sports. Retrieved on 1 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Britton breezes to gold in Slovenia". RTÉ Sport. 11 December 2011. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Gold puts the great in Britton". Irish Examiner. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Duffy, Coilin (21 January 2012). Kigen makes it a hat-trick; Britton takes women’s race win in Antrim. IAAF. Retrieved on 22 January 2012.
  10. ^ Wenig, Jorg (7 January 2012). Kiprop triumphs in race of champions, Bekele a distant 11th – Edinburgh XC report. IAAF. Retrieved on 8 January 2012.
  11. ^ Turnbull, Simon (6 January 2013). [1]. Retrieved on 22 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Fionnuala Britton takes victory in Edinburgh cross-country". RTÉ News. 5 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Fionnula Britton eases to comfortable success in the Antrim Cross Country". RTÉ News. 12 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Fionnuala Britton adds to medal haul with European bronze". Irish Independent. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Fionnuala Britton takes superb bronze in Sweden". RTÉ Sport. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  16. ^ Results - 40th IAAF World Cross Country Championships 2013 - Bydgoszcz (Myslecinek Park), POLAND 24 MAR 2013 - Senior Race - women, IAAF, March 24, 2013, retrieved November 6, 2013 
  17. ^ O'Riordan, Ian (2015-11-22). Different name, same result as Fionnuala McCormack takes seventh title. Irish Times. Retrieved on 2015-12-14.
  18. ^ SPAR European Cross Country Championships - Hyères 2015 Senior Women Final[permanent dead link]. European Athletics. Retrieved on 2015-12-14.

External links[edit]